Open-source media-player VLC has now passed three-billion downloads, with developers VideoLAN broadcasting the milestone at CES Las Vegas using a massive download counter made of nine mobile devices.
VLC, developed by French non-profit VideoLAN, passed the milestone on Friday. VideoLAN president Jean-Baptiste Kempf told Variety that VLC will soon gain AirPlay support, allowing Android phones to stream video to Apple TV devices. It’s also working on VR support for watching content with headsets like the HTC Vive.
VideoLAN is aiming to add AirPlay support in the next major release, VLC 4, according to The Verge. This builds on last February’s release of VLC 3, which enabled streaming to Chromecast devices and was the last release to support Windows XP. Prior to that, the media player hadn’t received a major update for three years.
VLC reached two billion total downloads in 2016, and, according to Kempf, today a quarter of downloads are coming from mobile devices.
According to VideoLAN’s statistics page, there are 164 million downloads of the VLC Android app, 78 million downloads of the Android beta VLC app, and 28 million downloads of the iOS VLC app.
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VLC started life in 1996 as a student project at the French university École Centrale Paris, with version 1 of VLC arriving in 2001. The non-profit relies on donations to operate and so far has managed to keep the software free of ads and bloatware.
The open source media player is one of 14 beneficiaries of the EU’s recently announced bug bounty funding. It was pipped by the KeePass password manager and Apache HTTP Server in a vote for which open source software should get an EU-funded security audit.
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